Growing senior population drives cities’ new housing communities

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Two new communities for seniors are coming to Sugar Land and Missouri City, where city officials say there will be a growing demand for such accommodations.

In Missouri City, The Huntington at Sienna Ranch is in the planning stages at Sienna Ranch Road west of Hwy. 6 with 149 units for residents age 62 and older

Jennifer Thomas Gomez, the interim assistant director for Missouri City’s development services department, said the city supports the development because the city’s Comprehensive Plan lists additional senior housing as one of its goals.

Growing senior population drives cities’ new housing communities“We recognize the trend,” Thomas Gomez said. “We recognize we have a population that’s living longer. We have a population that’s aging, and so we have a need within our community for the older population wanting to stay in this area but having housing products that meet their needs.”

Situated in Imperial Market in Sugar Land off of Hwy. 90, an active adult luxury living community called Overture at Sugar Land is under construction and expected to open at the end of this year. The community will feature 200 units for residents age 55 and older.

“Our median age is slightly increasing from year to year,” said Lisa Kocich-Meyer, the Sugar Land director of planning. “Just in general, our overall population here locally is aging, just as it is across the nation with the aging of the baby boomers.”

Growing senior population drives cities’ new housing communitiesNew communities

The Huntington at Sienna Ranch apartments will feature amenities including a pool, fitness facilities, a senior activities center, community space, on-site transportation and single-story cottages that have either one or two bedrooms and garages.

“We’re basically looking to start construction, probably [in]January, and we’ll take around 14 to 15 months to complete, so we anticipate first units becoming available in January of 2018,” said Mark Musemeche, founder of MGroup, which is developing the project.

He said the project is the third and most likely final senior living community development of MGroup’s in Missouri City where there is a Huntington complex on Cartwright and Murphy roads as well as a Huntington on Trammel Fresno Road and Hwy. 6.

In Sugar Land, Overture’s amenities will include senior activities, community spaces, presentation kitchens, balconies and patios for people and their pets, said Ryan Terrell, managing director of client services for Overture’s development company Greystar Realty Partners.

“It will be a luxury community with conventional features,” Terrell said.

Neither the latest Huntington nor The Overture will have any skilled care for its residents because both communities are strictly for independent living.

The Telfair neighborhood in Sugar Land may also have a senior living community years down the road.

Newland Communities resubmitted a development plan to the city of Sugar Land in May that would include a senior living apartment community of about 200 units, said Alan Bauer, senior vice president for the Houston division of Newland Communities.

The developer previously planned multifamily housing but reconsidered when the community and the Sugar Land Planning and Zoning Committee resisted, Bauer said.

If all goes smoothly, the Newland planned development could be approved by the end of the year, but Bauer said the company has yet to solicit potential buyers for a senior living community.

Growing senior population drives cities’ new housing communitiesAging in place

In 2010, 15,571 residents age 55 and older were living in Missouri City, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. By 2014, census estimates projected 17,685 were living in Missouri City.

In Sugar Land, 20,300 residents age 55 and older were living in the city in 2010 compared with 22,584 in 2014, according to the 2010 Census and its 2014 estimates, respectively.

Kocich-Meyer said seniors are not necessarily coming to the area in influx but are rather aging in place.

“We do generally have an aging population, slightly,” Kocich-Meyer said. “However, I think a lot of that is just from people staying here and staying within the city as they are aging.”

Terrell said part of the reason Greystar wanted to build an active adult community in Sugar Land was because of its demographics.

“The affluent demographic within Sugar Land and the baby boomer population that is there, coupled with the younger demographic that’s coming in and purchasing homes in the single family neighborhood, is really attractive from an active adult perspective,” Terrell said.

Musemeche said The Huntington has a high demand for its two newest communities in Missouri City, including the one yet to be constructed.

“Demand has been beyond what we ever expected,” Musemeche said. “We have about 300-plus on each waiting list, so over 600, 700 seniors are on our combined waiting list for both [of our two newest]properties right now.”

Affordability

Musemeche said The Huntington at Sienna Ranch will have affordable living options within the active adult community.

He said rents will range from $400 to $1,500 per month for the latest location.

Thomas Gomez said this is consistent with the city’s commitment to have affordable housing as a Community Block Grant Development program city.

“It’s upholding our commitment making sure we have opportunities for affordable housing within the city, ensuring we have a balance of that,” Thomas Gomez said. “Whether it’s through age-restricted living [or]through diversifying the type of housing we have within the city. It’s a commitment that the city has made as an entitlement city to that goal.”

The grants are federally funded, and Thomas Gomez said as a part of that program, cities commit to upholding opportunities for low-income residents, including affordable housing.

Musemeche said part of The Huntington’s affordability is based on demand.

“There’s a larger demand for affordable than there is for super high end [housing], so what we try and do is provide a development that captures anybody—whatever socioeconomic background might come through,” he said.

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